February 6, 2021 | Elizabeth Rachuri
If you walked past the fifth grade classroom last week, you would have heard many things:
What are students working on? They are researching multiplication algorithms from around the world.
Students just completed a study on the US algorithms for multiplication and division. They created video and slideshow manuals outlining the steps to these procedures that they shared with fourth graders.
Now they are expanding their understanding of multiplication by seeing how people around the world solve similar math problems in different ways.
For this math project, students are connecting and synthesizing what they already know about how multiplication works with new insights. They are finding the similarities between the algorithm they know and one they are seeing for the first time, so they can begin to make sense of it.
They are asking questions like, “How can that possibly work?!” They are seeking help from one another and offering explanations of the pieces they have figured out already.
And some are even trying to invent a new and more efficient algorithm for multiplication!
This Algorithms From Around the World math project is building critical thinking skills in these fifth graders as they research the unknown. They are collaborating and asking important questions. And they are getting excited about math!